Posted by Betsy Graziano on 7/24/2017

Let's face it Ė buying a home can be difficult, especially if you are forced to negotiate with a stubborn home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the negotiation process and ensure that you can secure your dream home quickly.

Here are three tips that will enable you to avoid stressful negotiations with home sellers:

1. Do Your Homework

If you submit a fair offer on a home from the get-go, you may be able to avoid a stressful negotiation altogether. As such, perform plenty of housing market research before you submit an offer to ensure that your proposal will meet a home seller's needs.

Examine the prices of comparable houses in your city or town prior to submitting an offer on a residence. This will allow you to understand whether a home seller's asking price falls in line with similar properties in the area. It also enables you to browse the real estate market and ensure that you are ready to submit an offer on a particular residence based on what's available elsewhere.

After you do your homework, submit a competitive offer on a home. If the offer meets the home seller's needs, he or she may accept it immediately. Or, if the home seller issues a counter-proposal, you can always decline the counter-offer and check out other properties.

2. Don't Lose Your Cool

A negotiation can be frustrating at times, but a patient homebuyer will be able to remain calm, cool and collected at all times.

During a negotiation, it is important to remember that both you and the home seller have similar goals. Ultimately, both parties want to reach a fair agreement, one that satisfies the needs of all parties involved. And if you can find common ground with a home seller, you may be able to streamline the negotiation process.

If you feel like your emotions are getting out of control during a negotiation, take a break. Remember, you can always go for a walk on your own and hang out with family members and friends to alleviate stress. After you perform a stress-relieving activity, you may be able to return to the negotiating table with a fresh outlook as well.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating with a home seller, there is no reason to conduct a negotiation on your own. Instead, hire an experienced real estate agent, and this professional will negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts, rejects or counters your offer on a house. He or she also will offer expert recommendation to help you secure your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Employ a real estate agent to help you manage negotiations with home sellers Ė you'll be glad you did. Your real estate agent will help you avoid stress throughout negotiations, and as such, make it easy for you to obtain your dream residence.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 7/17/2017

You know that your credit score is incredibly important when you want to buy a home. Thereís certain things that you could be doing in your everyday life that are hurting your credit score. Hereís what you need to avoid in order to keep your credit score up:


Donít Allow For Too Many Credit Inquiries


When youíre at the checkout lane at the store, and the clerk informs you that you can save a lot of money if you just open this instant credit card on the spot, that can pose a problem. The issue with this is that the store will be instantly checking your credit score as well. These inquiries hang on your credit report for a certain amount of time. Certain inquiries can also make your score dip. Too many credit inquiries can make lenders suspicious of your ability to be a dependable borrower.



Unpaid Bills Can Add Up


If you forget to pay small credit card bills here and there, it could add up. Think of things like library books, medical bills, and credit card payments. That unreturned library fee that you never paid could come back to haunt you. A medical bill that was sent to collections can become a problem on your credit report. Most of the time, all you need to do is pay these fees up for your score to bounce back. 


Credit Report Errors


Your credit report could have incorrect information about your financial situation and records. Your credit score could be dragged down just because of some errors on the report. If you do find an error on your report, youíll be able to submit a claim to rectify the error. 


Using Too Much Of Your Available Credit


Just because a credit limit is at $5,000, doesnít mean that you need to max it out. Even if you pay your bills each month, using too much of your available credit can really harm your score. For your credit score to be calculated and to see how loan worthy you are, your total available credit and how much of that total credit is being used will be put into a formula. Beware of how much of your credit you use in order to keep that score up.


Not Touching Your Credit


You actually need to use your credit in order to build your score. You need credit history in order to have something for loan officers to work with. Accounts that become inactive over time will be closed by default and actually negatively impact your score. 


By using your credit responsibly, youíll keep your credit score up and be in good shape to buy a house.





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 7/10/2017

Purchasing a home should be fun, memorable process. However, many homebuyers struggle with fears as they embark on the process of acquiring their dream homes.

Some of the most common homebuying fears include:

1. I will pay too much for a house.

Overspending on a house is a common fear among homebuyers nationwide.

If you pay too much for a house, you may struggle to afford the monthly payments for the duration of your mortgage. Perhaps even worse, your house may lose value over time. And if you eventually decide to sell your home, you may be forced to accept less than what you initially paid for it.

Ultimately, an informed homebuyer will understand the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's one. He or she will be able to determine whether a home is affordably priced and proceed accordingly.

An informed homebuyer also will know the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, this homebuyer will understand exactly how much that he or she can spend on a house.

2. I'll wait too long to submit an offer on a residence.

If a homebuyer is uncertain about buying a particular house and waits too long to submit an offer, he or she risks missing out on this residence altogether.

Fortunately, there is a simple way to avoid this problem.

A homebuyer who knows what he or she wants to find in a dream home can narrow a home search. Then, if the homebuyer discovers a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations, this individual can submit an offer right away.

Don't forget to submit a competitive offer, i.e. one that accounts for the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller, as well. A competitive offer will stand out from other proposals and increase a property buyer's chances of securing his or her dream residence.

3. I'll buy a home that will fail to maintain its long-term value.

What you pay for a home today is unlikely to remain the same over the course of several weeks, months or years. But a homebuyer who employs an expert home inspector can learn about a house's strengths and weaknesses and ensure a property is a viable long-term investment.

A home inspector will conduct an assessment of a house after a property seller accepts a buyer's proposal. At this point, an inspector will examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential issues. Lastly, a home inspector will issue a report with his or her findings, and a homebuyer will have a final opportunity to modify or rescind an offer on a house.

For homebuyers, it is important to work with a trusted home inspector Ė you'll be glad you did. This home inspector will go above and beyond the call of duty to evaluate a house before you finalize a home purchase.

Working with an experienced real estate agent may benefit a homebuyer too. With a top-notch real estate agent at your side, you can get the support you need to acquire a first-rate home that will maintain its value both now and in the future.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 7/3/2017

You and your family spend the most time in your living room. This is a great place for conversation, relaxing, and fun. The place where the family gathers often should also be a place of safety and security for everyone. Every nook of the room should be covered from the floors to the furniture to the fireplace. You can improve the safety of your living space without sacrificing on the style of the space. A safe living space is all part of a safe home. 


Be Cautious Of Fires


Fire safety should be a top priority when it comes to your living space. Especially if you have young kids or pets in the home, youíll need to make sure that little hands and paws cannot get anywhere near fireplaces, candles, or burning incense. Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds with these items. Use baby gates to block off certain areas near the fireplace to keep children and pets away. Burn candles in places that are out of the reach of little hands. Also, anything thatís burning should be secured and unable to be knocked over. 


Be Mindful Of Cords


Cords sprawled throughout the living room can spell disaster. These can lead to tripping, electrocution risks, and an overall mess. Use clever ways to keep cords organized and out of sight. You can buy cord keeper units at your local hardware store, or you can create your own. All you need is a box with holes to filter the cords through. This will keep tiny hands and paws out of the reach of loose cords          


Install Security Systems


Even when youíre home, it can be a good idea to install a security system. You should always have an alarm system installed near the front door of your home, which typically is near your living space. Security systems donít need to be an eyesore either. There are plenty of systems that actually blend right into your walls, making them an even better choice to hide them from the likes of thieves or intruders. One idea is to hide the alarm system components behind a painting or wall canvas. This is a good security measure for your children too. They wonít have access to the alarm system, so you donít have to worry about them believing that it is a toy.


Furniture


Keep furniture out of walking paths in your living space. It can cause problems for young children who are still learning how to control their own movements. Bulky furniture that gets in the way can also cause a hazard for adults too. You donít want sharp corners or bulky elements that can contribute to trips, falls, and other injuries. Always keep the safety of the very young and older adults in mind.      




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 6/19/2017

Itís almost time to welcome in the spring season. With spring comes a yearly tradition: Spring cleaning! Where do you even start to get the dust, dirt, and clutter out of your home after a long winter? We have a few tips for you regarding all of the areas that you need to address. 


Baseboards, Door Frames, and Walls


These areas of your home are often overlooked, but can accumulate quite a bit of dust and dirt. All you need to do is wash the areas down with soap and water and let them dry thoroughly.  


Wash Your Windows


This sounds like itís the least fun of any kind of cleaning project, but it must be done! However you decide to wash your windows, make sure that you pick a cloudy day for it. If itís a sunny day, you could end up streaking the windows quite harshly because the windows will dry too fast.


Deep Clean The Carpets


Although this project may be done only once a year, itís an important cleaning task to help with springtime allergens. You can have your rugs professionally cleaned. Another option is to rent a deep cleaner for the carpet and do-it-yourself. This can be an all day project, since the carpets need time to dry. If you see any stains in the carpets, be sure to pre-treat them before you start the carpet cleaning process. 


Give Your Furniture A Once-Over


Spring is a great time to vacuum up your furniture and refresh the upholstery. Clean the wood portions of your furniture as well with a polish. Be sure that you clean under the furniture, under the cushions, and all around the furniture as well. Your vacuum hose will come in handy for these tasks.


Clean Behind The Refrigerator


Take the time to move your refrigerator, dust behind it, and really clean all around it. So much dust and dirt can collect around the fridge that it will shock you. 


Dust The Light Fixtures


Your light fixtures can often go ignored. The glass around the bulbs can collect quite a bit of dust and dirt. Take the lighting fixtures apart and wipe everything down with a cloth. Use a mild cleaner for dust and dirt that has really built up over time.


Power Wash The Outside Of Your House


The spring is a great time to power wash the outside of your home. The exterior of the home will appear like new as you get rid of any dust, dirt, and debris that may have built up on the shingles or stone facing over the course of the fall and winter.   

 


Spring cleaning wonít be such a tedious task as long as you take the time to plan what your priorities are in the house.




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